Nifty Facts About Outdoor Plants
We see outdoor plants everyday of our life, often taking their unique beauty for granted. How much do you really know about the plant life in your area? How old is the average tree, and what are most outdoor plants made of? The plants and trees surrounding us have their own stories to tell, these silent splendors are very much alive, full of secrets we’ve only just begun to explore. Enjoy these 9 nifty facts about outdoor plants, and perhaps you’ll never look at a flower the same way again.
Bamboo is a wood-based plant that grows faster than any other plant worldwide, increasing in size up to 35 inches per day.
Ever heard of tulupomania? It was a craze for tulips that took the people of Holland hostage in the 1600s, eventually contributing to the crash of the Dutch economy. At this time, the tulip was viewed as more valuable than gold. Perhaps there’s good reason to be obsessed with the tulip though, the plant is magical; it can be cut from its roots and still grow up to one-inch a day.
The tallest flower in the world actually smells like death, no joke. Commonly known as the “corpse flower”, the Amorphophallus titanium can grow up to 15 feet tall, but when it blooms people compare the scent to spoiled meat. These flowers are worth seeing if you’ve never witnessed one before.
Outdoor plants talk to each other, no really. This is something the scientific community wasn’t ready to accept back in 1983, when Jack Shultz and Ian Baldwin, 2 plant scientists, observed damaged maple trees releasing chemicals to warn their neighbors of the dangers in the area. Science has now advanced to prove that outdoor plants can communicate above and below ground with one another, alerting their neighbors to danger and working together for the greater good of a plant community. For instance, if one plant experiences aphid-infestation it will release a chemical called volatile organic compounds, when plant neighbors detect this, they go into action, letting off different chemicals known to fight off infestations, including attracting wasps that will hunt and destroy it.
If you look at an image of any forest from an aerial view you will notice that one or two trees tower above the others. These taller trees were likely the fastest growing to begin with, or they were there first, either way they were able to score the most sunlight due to their height, and that is what causes these trees to continually grow taller, until they tower high over the entire forest.
Trees are here for the long haul; in fact there is not one living organism that can outlive a tree. Using dendrochronology, we can determine how old a tree is by calculating the rings that form at the center of the tree, although not all trees have growth rings. The oldest tree ever is the Great Basin Bristlecone, standing at 4,844 years old. In Sri Lanka stands the oldest tree planted by humans, it was planted in 288 BC. There are trees standing tall in California that were there the day Christopher Columbus first sailed into America, and they will still be there for hundreds of years more. Not all trees live to be thousands of years old, the type of tree will determine how long it will live, some trees (such as the palm tree) only live around 50 years. Thevast majority of trees live a few hundred years.
Fruits can contain a whole lot of seeds; one strawberry contains around 200 seeds, and is the only fruit that actually shows off its seeds on the outside. The pomegranate has even more seeds, over 1,000, but you don’t know it until you break it open. Not only are seeds a prominent plant-filler, but so too is water. In fact, just like us humans, outdoor plants are mostly made up of water. Cabbage is 91% water, Apples are 84% water, and cucumbers are 96% water. Apples are also made up of 25% air, place them in water and they are sure to float.
85% of outdoor plants on planet earth are found underwater. This might not seem that surprising considering the majority of our planet is water, but since we typically only see outdoor plants rooted on land, we fail to realize just how much greenery thrives beneath the blue ocean waters.
Without outdoor plants humans cannot survive, without humans plants can easily thrive. The oxygen supply for half of the world comes directly from the Amazon rainforest. The more forests that we lose over time, the more danger we put ourselves in. Trees don’t need us to survive, but we need them.